Navtec Expeditions - and their excellent guide/driver Kevin - has left me with some of my best vacation memories ever. On a recent trip with a sister and cousin, we did two tours with Navtec - a half-day sunset tour of Arches, and the next day, a full day tour in the Needles district to Chesler Park. We felt lucky to have Kevin as our driver both days and one of his trademark comments "This isn't Disneyland" may just be on the cover of our vacation photo album ;-)
We made all our reservations well ahead of our trip - Navtec's website was the best of the outfitters in town IMO, and the reviews of Navtec were spot on - the company is organized, has guides who clearly care about the experience their guests have, and if you truly want to experience some of the "red rock" national parks off the beaten path, this is the way to go. I telephoned early on and talked with someone at Navtec about different 4x4 and river trips based on the time of year we were visiting. The guys on the phone were helpful with all the members of our traveling group, ensuring that we were booked together and helping us pick some great trips.
The scenery in Arches and Canyonlands has to be seen in person to be believed. But I don't honestly think it would have been quite the same experience if we'd been with an outfitter and guide who didn't actively contribute to making it a good day. Kevin clearly enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the parks and their history with us and for a group of 40s & 50s women, was solicitous of our abilities (and limitations) - ensuring that we ALL had a good time on each trip. Some of the 4x4 traverses - like Elephant Hill in Canyonlands - left my heart pounding, but by the time we got to those sections of "road" I had complete confidence in Kevin and boy, does that make a difference when there are inches between your vehicle and a cliff ;-)
Lunch was provided on the Chesler Park trip and I had almost expected something along the lines of PB&J sammies in baggies to go with the back country experience but nope - we had quite a repast. It wasn't just that our guide set out the food for us to assemble our lunches, but he did it with an almost artful touch - it was a very unexpected element of a back country day that demonstrates the Navtec touch.
It was apparent to us as well that our guide was known and respected by the rangers in both parks. Navtec and their guides respect *both* the parks and the guests with whom they share these scenic wonders. I can't wait to visit Moab again and try out some of the other Navtec adventures.